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The Milwaukee 5616-24 Router Combo is Milwaukee’s excellent entry into the highly competitive 2-1/4 HP router combo market. As you would expect from Milwaukee with their reputation for tough, get-the-job-done power tools, the 5616-24 is one of the most solidly built router combo kits we have tested.
Just like its bigger stablemate, the 5625-20, the 5616-24 with its 2-1/4 HP motor has an absolutely rock solid feel and was capable of dealing with every routing job we used it for.
This combo also has some nice touches such as the wrap-around palm grip on the fixed base and the ability to adjust the height from above the table when using it in a router table.
All of the router combo kits on the market offer fantastic versatility and value for money, but we were particularly impressed with the overall solid feel and quality of this kit, plus a really nice motor.
We love the wrap-around palm grip on the fixed base. Added to the overall rock solid feel in fixed base mode, the palm grip gives you a huge feeling of control. It’s got a retaining strap so you don’t have to worry about losing your grip, and all you really need to do with your other hand is gently guide the router.
We do a lot of router table work and so we particularly liked the fact that you can adjust the height from above the table when it’s mounted in a table. You really don’t want to be trying to make adjustments from under the table if you can help it.
One thing we didn’t like in fixed base mode is that you have to remove the motor from the base to change bits. This isn’t really a problem as it’s so quick and easy to remove the motor unit from the bases but it’s still a niggle. The top of the motor unit is also flat so that it sits nice and steady on the bench when changing bits.
The plunge base is also well made with excellent large, angled handles that are comfortable and give good control. The plunge release lever is well positioned, easy to operate and holds well, and the plunge action is nice and smooth. There is also a very good amount of plunge available, with up to 20mm more than some other routers.
As far as plunge depth adjustment is concerned it has the usual adjustable metal turret stops with 6 positions )which is more than you get with a lot of plunge bases) and a depth rod system with quick-release button & locking screw.
Milwaukee have got a winner with this motor unit. The 2-1/4 HP motor has enough grunt for most jobs, it’s got all the usual modern niceties like soft start and EVS (electronic variable speed).
In use we found that the motor is particularly quiet and smooth with very little vibration. The soft start and EVS worked well.
We think it’s being overly picky, but some reviewers didn’t like the case! If there has to be one area where this router combo is going to fall down, then we’re happy for it to be the case design.
- Wrap-around grip on fixed base
- Above the table bit changing when used in a router table
- Smooth, quiet motor
- Poor case design?
The Milwaukee 5616-24 Router Combo is Milwaukee’s excellent entry into the highly competitive 2-1/4 HP router combo market. As you would expect from Milwaukee with their reputation for tough, get-the-job-done power tools, the 5616-24 is one of the most solidly built router combo kits we have tested, plus it’s got a wrap-around palm grip on the fixed base which makes it really easy to use and control.